Last Saturday I visited a concert in Nijmegen. With a small crowd I enjoyed some gothic/industrial bands. This included a band in which I used to play bass and guitar. At one point I had a cool conversation with the bass player of my former band (since I know him a little). He was talking about his main band called Dead Soil. A few moments later I got a tape from this act. It contained the debut EP “231” of this project. And after listening to it a few times I got excited and decided to make a review. Why? Because I definitely think this EP is well worth your attention.
As mentioned Dead Soil plays industrial doom. Using harsh vocals, synths, programming and a heavy guitar sound they create a harsh, dark world where no pleasure can be found. The cassette I received had fitting artwork: cold, black and white and desolate.
The EP starts with “Endless,” a track which starts with threatening keyboards and guitar gaining momentum until the vocals step in. Together with the staccato guitar riffs this track will tear you to shreds. I know that a lot of metalheads are not fond of programmed drums but on this track it simply works. It feels like all the coldness, misery and desolateness of this barren peace of earth oozes out of this track. A harsh and cold world not worth living. A place where despair reigns in utter terror. Just watch the video and you will concur.
“Remorse” continues in the same vein as “Endless” and has the same approach and torments you with its simple yet clinical precise drum patterns, eerie synths, harsh guitars and fitting vocals. There’s a pattern of repetitiveness in the bass and guitar riffs which sucks you into Dead Soil’s filthy world and spits you out when the track is over. Although the duration of this track is longer than eight minutes it doesn’t get dull one bit and keeps me on the edge of my seat.
“This World Has Moved On” starts with some excellent drum programming, guitar and has some really cool industrial synths before Gaya bursts loose in all vocal agony. Especially the ending of this track with its eerie sublayer of synths is extraordinary. It creates a fitting end for this nasty piece of work.
Although the approach is relatively simple this EP just works. The strength of the tracks presented in combination with the mix of this EP, which is very balanced and makes sure that all elements have enough space to breath yet feels claustrophobic enough to fit a dark Industrial recording, see to a fitting end result. I can only conclude that “231” is an excellent debut which makes me hope that there will be a full-length album in the very near dystopian future.
It is good to see that the Dutch underground is diverse with some really interesting bands. And I think Dead Soil is one of them.
Rating: 7,7 / 10
Release date: 13 May 2022
Label: Matriarch Records (cassette)
Fix Recordings (digital)
Written by: Erik
- This World Has Moved On